So what is a brother sister summer camp? We get asked that question all the time. Is it the same as a coed camp? Actually, it’s an incredible hybrid: it’s not quite coed and it’s not quite single gender. It's the best of both! A brother sister overnight camp is actually two separate camps on the same property that have different sleeping areas, weekday activities, and traditions, and yet come together for meals, daily community meetings, and on the weekends for special events.
Brother-sister camps create a dynamic where children are able to fully integrate into their age groups and form deep social connections without the added pressures of the boy-girl dynamic. When we do bring our two camps together it is always in the context of making age-appropriate friendships. We want to give our campers the chance to avoid the social pressures that can come from coed camp with an intense social scene.
As parents, educators and former Kenwood & Evergreen campers, we see the advantages of a brother sister community every day of the summer. Our campers are nicer to each other, as there is no social capitol gained by trying to impress the opposite sex. Our girls enjoy summers free of makeup and worrying about how they are dressed, and our boys embrace their feelings and emotions. One way that our oldest campers model this for our younger ones is by proudly coming to morning assembly in their pajamas, still sporting the bed head look!
As a brother sister camp in New Hampshire we have Camp Kenwood, a summer camp for boys, and Camp Evergreen, a summer camp for girls. Each camp has its own songs, cheers, activities and traditions, and yet there remains a shared sense of belonging to the larger Kenwood & Evergreen community at the same time. As I said, it’s a hybrid and one that seems to help our campers be their best, happiest selves each summer!
This past summer a group of Kenwood and Evergreen campers sat down to talk about why they liked living in our unique summer community. We invite you to see what they had to say about our camp for boys and camp for girls.
Gender privacy is important for our community, so our boys' and girls' cabins are in separate areas of the property. Our campers never spend time in the living areas of the other camp, and they take different pathways to and from activity areas. Each camp has its own waterfront, too, so that campers of both genders can swim without the added social pressure of how they look in a bathing suit.
Here are some of the basic ingredients that make up our brother-sister summer camp community:
- Siblings are able to spend time with one another each day during breakfast and dinner assemblies, after dinner, and on Friday evenings
- Gender separate weekday and weeknight activities
- Different color wars for boys and girls camps
- Separate waterfronts and beaches
- Shared dining hall where all K&E campers and counselors eat at one sitting for 3 meals a day. Different genders are on opposite sides of building
- Some shared athletic and arts facilities
- Specially crafted age-appropriate weekend events and evening activities that bring both camps together